NEWS + ANALYSIS
SETHAPUT SUTHIWART-NARUEPUT, PH.D.

NEWS + ANALYSIS

OVERCOMING POVERTY, ADVANCING ECONOMIC FREEDOM BY REFRAMING THE DEBATE

November 24, 2015 | by Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, Ph.D.

In the 352 pages and more than 250,000 words in its flagship 2001 World Development Report (WDR), Attacking Poverty, the World Bank mentions the word “freedom” 12 times. By contrast, the words “government” and “state” are mentioned about 450 and 350 times, respectively. Such an omission and imbalance is particularly surprising in light of some of the bank’s own findings. Stating at the outset that “the poor are the true poverty experts,” the bank conducted many interviews of the poor as background for the WDR and found that the poor repeatedly described their well-being in terms of five related dimensions, one of which was “freedom of choice and action.”

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